I find it quite distressing that many software companies have special offers on at this time of year – where do they think I’m going to get the money from? – on products that I really, really want. One company is offering a buy one-get-one-free on sampled instruments, and I’d rather like both the Gamelan and the E-bow sample sets. Except they’re £50 each. I don’t have £50 right at the moment. Don’t they know there’s a Christmas on?
I much prefer the other approach: Give things away. There’s some pretty good, or at least interesting, software being given away this year. Ohm Force have given away a weird synth instrument that I don’t seem to be able to control properly, if indeed you are meant to be able to. I nearly bought this several times of the past couple of years, so I am quite pleased. East/West are giving away a cut-down version of their orchestra plug-in, which normally costs hundreds of pounds. Wasn’t expecting that, am almost giddy with excitement waiting for that to download*. Cakewalk have made some of their more elderly VST effects freeware. Native Instruments have given us more presets for the free Kore player, and I will overlook that one of the patches crashes Ableton Live every time I try to load it; it’s the thought that counts.
That’s what we want at this time of year – free things.